Dark Horses Picks To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,April 12, 2016 5:00, EST in

With the start of the 2016 NHL playoffs just over 24 hours from getting underway, hockey bettors that are looking for value-packed underdogs need to identify the handful of teams that have a high chance of making realistic runs to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. That’s where I come in. This expert NHL betting breakdown on the best dark horse picks to win the 2016 Stanley Cup is just what the doctor ordered!

This postseason, nine teams fall into the underdog category. However, each isn’t a legitimate title contender. Now, let’s identify those that are.

Dark Horses Picks To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup

Odds to win the 2016 Stanley Cup

 

New York Rangers 15/1
San Jose Sharks 15/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 18/1
Florida Panthers 20/1
New York Islanders 20/1
Nashville Predators 25/1
Minnesota Wild 30/1
Detroit Red Wings 40/1
Philadelphia Flyers 50/1

 

Call me crazy, but something about the Florida Panthers scares me. Maybe it’s the ageless Jaromir Jagr still finding the back of the net (66 points) or maybe its Florida’s winning record both at home and on the road. Maybe it’s Florida’s top 10 offense and defense, but whatever it is, I’d be wary of facing the Panthers this postseason.

The Tampa Bay Lightning also had a winning record at home and on the road while ranking fifth in total defense and inside the top 10 in almost every other meaningful defensive statistical category. Unfortunately, they won’t have Steven Stamkos this postseason because of a blood clot. I like the Nashville Predators, mostly because of goalie Pekka Rinne who finished second in the Vezina Trophy voting last season when he tied for second in the league with 41 wins.

 

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The San Jose Sharks are also on my radar – if they get past the elite Los Angeles Kings in the first round. Joe Thornton is aging, but the former captain had a fantastic season while shining alongside Joe Pavelski. Thornton averaged a point per game and racked up at least one in each of San Jose’s final 33 victories to record the second-longest scoring streak in the NHL over more than a quarter of a century. With Thornton on the ice, San Jose scored a league-best 70.7 percent of the even-strength goals during that time.